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Symptoms of Tularemia Disease

Unlock the secrets of tularemia symptoms, the telltale signs of 'rabbit fever' caused by the highly infectious bacterium Francisella tularensis. Learn why recognizing these signs is crucial for timely medical intervention and effective management of tularemia.

  • 15 Jan 2024
  • 2 min read

Tularemia disease, known as ‘rabbit fever’, is caused by a highly infectious bacterium named Francisella tularensis. In humans, it can infect a variety of immune and non-immune cells. Once inside the body, the bacteria rapidly multiply causing ulceration at entry sites and many more symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Tularemia Disease?

The infectious agent is transmitted from infected animals to humans through insect bites. Inside the human body, the bacterium can go to regional lymph nodes causing lymphadenopathy and granuloma formation. In almost all cases of tularemia, symptoms are noticeable and lead to serious illness if not given timely medical intervention.
The following are the tularemia symptoms:

  • Skin ulceration particularly at the site of bacteria entry
  • Lymphadenopathy i.e. swollen and painful lymph nodes. Regional lymph node swelling depends upon the site of inoculation.
  • Fever, headache, and malaise are among the most common symptoms of tularemia infection.
  • Eye inflammation and exudative conjunctivitis
  • Mouth sores, sore throat, dry cough, and exudative pharyngitis
  • Chills and muscle aches
  • Troubled breathing followed by pneumonia-like symptoms, chest pain, bloody sputum, etc.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms may lead to abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea
  • Progressive weakness if not treated on time
  • Septic shock and hepatomegaly can happen in severe cases
  • Tularemia infection has also been reported to cause meningitis and osteomyelitis in rare cases

Also read:


The rabbit fever symptoms are dependent upon the route of infection, but most cases are associated with fever, headache, and weakness. Tularemia disease is treatable through antibiotics and requires medical supervision given at the proper time.

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